The KZ ZSN was sent free of charge by Lillian the co-founder of Linsoul. I’ll try my best to give an impartial opinion about the gear*.
Below I share the links to the store which provided the samples I’ll be reviewing, keep in mind that without the cooperation of this store I would probably not review this gear.
KZ needs no introduction if you are into in-ears, they consistently release models at a brutal pace, the new ZSN is, in my opinion, an upgraded ZST, but with a more mature tuning even if with a rather deep emphasis on the lower end.
This is a truly V-shaped in-ear, it has a fun bass, solid mid-range and good treble detail for the price range. It’s the typical sound tuning of KZ in all its glory.
As a typical portable rig, I’ll be using my Sony L1 (G3311) smartphone and Spotify on the higher quality setting without any EQ, normalization or any other gimmick. I also might use my Fiio uBTR Bluetooth receiver via aptX if necessary.My daily driver will be an uncapped Sony Walkman A-45, with both lossy 320kbps Mp3’s and lossless 16-Bit 44.1Khz Flac music files, I might use higher resolution if necessary.I won’t be reviewing the interaction of all sources with the in-ear for obvious reasons, so for simplicity sake, the review below will use the Sony Walkman A-45 to drive the in-ears unless stated otherwise.
A look inside the box
Built quality & specifications
The shells feel very solid, having a metal faceplate and a copper nozzle are probably the reasons for that solid feel. The nozzle has a good lip, so no more tip sliding like the ZS10.
In terms of design aesthetics, I’m not in love with the futuristic faceplate, but that’s a personal thing.
The cable is yet again prone to tangle but the plugs were redesigned, so if you have old KZ cables you can forget those to upgrade the ZSN.
A good call from KZ is the malleable preformed over-ear guides.
As mics go, this one did its job, then again I’m not really a fan of mics in the cable.
The “starline” tips are the only accessories and if you follow my blog you probably know I love them.
You can see the provided photos for more details.Everyone likes specifications so here are some I could find:
– 1 Dynamic driver (10mm) + 1 Balanced armature (Model 30095)
– Frequency response: 20Hz – 40KHz
– Sensitivity: 104dB
– Impedance: 25Ω
The ZSN are comfortable and easy to insert in the ears, they isolate sound rather well, the cable guides are a blessing.
In my opinion, KZ has a nice shell on their hands, I do hope they implement it on other models.
The cable is a tangled mess, I know KZ can do much better in the cable department but for this price, I can’t complain too much, can I?Sound
The ZSN is a V-shaped in-ear, the lower range will slam you so hard, it can be painful if you are a flat frequency response fan. Keep in mind the bass will bleed to the mids.
The mids for a V-shaped are rather decent and solid if you forgive the invasive bass, hearing my favorite Italian singer with the ZSN was fun.
Treble has a lot of detail and I have heard much more aggressive treble coming from other KZ models than the one present in this one.
This model is above all a fun in-ear, don’t buy it if you want an analytical sound, if you still want a KZ in the same price range but with less emphasis on bass and treble, you will be better served with an ES4.
The ZSN is a great gift for people who just want to hear their tunes daily, given their bass response they are actually quite bearable and fun in a noisy ambient. It also literally blows the AKG Y20 out of the water and it’s cheaper and way more solid than the AKG model.
If I had to choose between the ZST and ZSN, I would pick up the ZSN, for its shell construction, better cable, and better overall sound quality. If the bass is too much for your taste, just EQ it out.
If you need to find out what songs I used to make this review please visit this page.
The good & the ugly
A fun V-Shaped in-ear, great noise isolation, and fun lower-end.
Good construction for the price.Cable tangles a lot.
Bass bleeds to the mid-range.
* For more information on how I deal with free & discounted samples please check this link.** Yes, I don’t write about “soundstage” or imaging, refer to this entry for more explanations on that.